Like many surfers, I understand the instinctive gag reflex that accompanies any cellophane-wrapped packaging and distribution of surfing for profit or entertainment. For better or worse, surfing is my business (and love), so my perspective on the matter is as warped as it is sharp.
It’s a fine line. I understand the sacrilege of its bastardization. I also understand that its virgin days ended long ago – an era before John Severson put The Surfer Quarterly into circulation to simultaneously nurture (and profit from) its intoxicating culture. I also understand that every human’s personal experience with surfing and the ocean is what they decide it is. Blaming commercial surf exercises for my own misadventures is largely a red herring because two basic principles remain true: Surfing is fun, and populations (typically) increase. So, like it or not, as time passes, more humans will surf. Beyond that, I believe that surfing offers a rich addition to our lives on Earth. While I want empty barrels as much as the next guy, there’s a strong case to be made that the more ocean lovers on our blue planet, the better off we’ll be.